flag on building

Advisories and Alerts

Israel/Gaza Conflict

The university continues to closely monitor the ongoing situation in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Any travel to the region should consult the Risk Profiles by Country page as there may be additional considerations before travel can proceed.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Temple University continuously assesses the situation in eastern Europe. Individuals looking to travel to one of the following countries will require an exception from the Elevated/High Risk Committee:

  • Belarus
  • Russia
  • Ukraine

Countries Bordering the Conflict

In our judgement, it is still safe to travel to the great majority of European countries, and we continue to plan for future programs in Europe. These are some of the resources we use to keep tabs on the situation.

  • Advice provided by the U.S. Department of State, which regularly updates its travel advisories, including information on the availability of U.S. embassy assistance to travelers
  • Advice and on-the-ground security updates provided in real time by Temple’s emergency assistance provider, Healix
  • Continuous monitoring of open-source media
  • Advice provided by trusted on-site partners who develop international programs in partnership with us and who can speak to the realities they are currently facing in their countries
  • Continuous benchmarking with other similar universities who are considering these same things

For specifics surrounding the countries bordering the conflict, travelers should review the Risk Profiles by Country page for additional guidance and resources.

Current Legal Risk Concerns for Travel to China

The current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory advises to Reconsider Travel to China (PRC) due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions.   

For TU students pursuing studies in language, cultural studies, or international business, these are of nominal concern.  

For select TU leadership and researchers, the risk is very low probability, however the select enforcement against a TU individual is very high impact. Neither U.S. Consulate authorities nor TU’s international assistance providers can intervene on a detained individual’s behalf. To help mitigate the risk, TU travelers should be aware of the legal concerns and suspected triggers for enforcement. They should also travel technology and data light.   

Exit/Travel Bans
  • 2018 – current: Used as leverage against individuals or entities with pending legal action in Chinese jurisdiction and individuals or entities with debts due to prior legal, business or contract disputes.  

  • July 2023 - current: Used as enforcement of updated Counter-Espionage Law which expands the definition of espionage from covering state secrets and intelligence to any documents, data, materials, or items related to national security interests, without defining terms.  

Pre-travel questions of Temple leadership  

  1. Does Temple University or any affiliated entities have known pending criminal or civil cases in Chinese jurisdiction?  
  2. Does Temple University or any affiliated entities have known court orders to pay settlements or debts from prior legal, business or contract disputes?  

Pre-travel questions of Temple leadership and/or individual researchers  

  1. Is the individual a dual Chinese national with pending legal action or debts in Chinese legal jurisdiction? Does their immediate family have any known pending legal action or debts in Chinese jurisdiction?  
  2. Are they a dual citizen entering China on travel documents other than a U.S. passport? If so they may be treated as a PRC citizen and not afforded access to U.S. Consular resources. 
  3. Does the individual’s area of research or collaboration relate to areas of national security interest?  
    1. Political Sensitivity – Human Rights; Uighur population; Tibet and/or the Dalai Lama; Falun Gong; Corruption; Tiananmen Square including references to 1989 or 64.  
    2. National Security – Taiwan; Xinjiang; Hong Kong democracy protests  
    3. Technology and Sensitive Industry – Semiconductors; Defense and Military Related Technology  
  4. Does the individual’s area of research or collaboration involve the collection and transfer of personally identifiable information (PII) of Chinese citizens?  
  5. Does the individual’s area of research or collaboration involve the collection and transfer of medical data, geological data, or population data? 

General travel advice 

  1. Always enter China on the correct visa. Never attempt to use a Tourism visa when engaging in activities that require a Student or Business “M” visa.  
  2. Always carry a copy of the photo page of your passport.  
  3. Be aware of and heed local laws. Avoid conflict and disputes. Violations and disputes will most often be decided in favor of local citizens.  
Safeguarding Temple and Personal Data

In addition to Exit Bans, the updated Counter-Espionage Law and other recent laws concerning Personal Information Protection and National Intelligence allow authorities to access all electronic equipment and data of foreign nationals and entities.  

It is advised that TU travelers to China:  

  1. Travel with electronic equipment (laptops, tablets, phones) that are cleared of any data (including news articles, emails):  
  2. That may be deemed in China’s national security interests. 
  3. That contain sensitive information regarding Temple business, operations and PII.  
  4. Limit data carried to only those items necessary to travel and conduct relevant business/research in China.  
  5. Enable two-factor authentication and use Duo to access all TU resources.  
  6. Implement the use of a VPN for all electronic communication and access to TU resources. Use VPN to operate from cloud resources to protect contacts and sensitive information.  
  7. Operate mindful that all electronic communication is subject to monitoring; being careful not to discuss politically sensitive topics or share unprotected sensitive information by phone, email or other electronic means.  
  8. Be aware that all texting, messaging and use of WeChat on personal or employer issued photos is monitored. It can be difficult to navigate in PRC without using WeChat for some forms of communication or payment.  
  9. Do not accept electronic gifts, including USB devices, including from apparently benign sources. 
Export Control

U.S. export control laws govern the transfer of controlled information, items and technologies to foreign countries and foreign persons for national security purposes. TU faculty and staff involved in research involving controlled information: defense information, weapons, commercially available products that can be used for military application, or controlled biologics and materials with historical use in biowarfare or potential for serious economic or public health should contact Compliance for International Research and Collaboration (Export Control) prior to travel to China. 

https://global.temple.edu/faculty-staff/compliance-international-research-and-collaboration-export-control 

Dwayne King, Export Control Manager  

215-707-7819 

  

Resources on Travel to China
  • U.S. DOS Travel Advisory - https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/China.html  

  • Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). China Expands its Counter-Espionage Law. 5.2023  

  • Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). China Travel Explainer. 10.2023  

  • National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC). U.S. Business Risk: People’s Republic of China (PRC) Laws Expand Beijing’s Oversight of Foreign and Domestic Companies. 6.2023  

  • Healix Intelligence Report. China’s Revised Anti-Espionage Laws: Exploring the scope of the law and its implications on businesses. 6.2023. 

  

Updated October 11, 2023

Department of State Advisories

Center for Disease Control Travel Notices